If you live in the greater Boston area or are just visiting, you probably have a list of quintessential Boston foods. You know the ones we’re talking about.
Boston cream pie
Delicious seafood covered in butter or mayo
You indulge in all of your favorites and then wash it all down with a few of your favorite Sam Adams beers.
You know what happens next. The GI discomfort hits you like a brick. Overindulging in so many greasy, fatty foods paired with too much alcohol is a recipe for disaster. We know you love all of your greater Boston area favorites, so we’ve come up with some tips on how to enjoy them and minimize the gas, bloating, cramping, and other GI discomforts.
Moderation is Key
This principle applies to almost anything in life it seems, and your favorite foods are no exception. To avoid GI discomfort, instead of eating a whole Boston cream pie, stick with one slice. You’ll still get to enjoy the sweet creaminess, but you won’t feel sick from all of the extra sugar after. The same goes for the famous baked beans that gave Boston’s it’s “Beantown” nickname. Not only are they smothered in molasses and full of sugar, eating too many beans can cause some wicked gas. To avoid an uncomfortable bout of gas, stick to just one serving, or about half a cup.
Skip the Sam
If you want to indulge in more of your favorite foods, you should skip the Sam Adams. Look, Boston Lager is delicious. But if you’re already filling your belly with oysters bathing in butter, clam chowder, baked beans, and Boston cream pie, adding alcohol to the mix will only further distress your GI system. Alcohol relaxes the muscle that keeps all of those delicious Boston treats in your stomach which can result in heartburn. It can also cause you to feel nauseous because it aggravates the stomach lining.
If you need a drink to wash down your oysters, make sure you are drinking one glass of water for every glass of alcohol to lessen the impact on your digestive system.
We’re talking about pairing something like a lobster roll or a cup of clam chowder with a big, green salad or a generous helping of vegetables. Choosing a smaller portion of one of your Boston area favorites with something like a salad will save your gut from some of the grumblings you’d experience if you just filled up on the heartier options. The leafy greens from a salad and other cruciferous vegetables will help keep things moving through your digestive system.
If you have a hankering for Baked Bears or a Lobster Roll, you don’t need to deprive yourself. Splitting with a friend is a good way to get a taste without overdoing it. Portions at restaurants tend to be 3-4 times the size of recommended servings. So, split your Lobster Roll with a friend and get a side salad. You’ll still get to indulge in your craving, and you won't feel the discomfort of overindulgence.
Hit the Freedom Trail
If you can’t turn back time and you’ve already overindulged, strap on your shoes and start walking. If you’ve eaten a bit too much, taking a walk can help to ease your discomfort. Bostonians all know walking isn’t always an option given the frigid winter temperatures. But, if you find yourself feeling full on a spring, fall or summer day, taking a stroll will give you some relief.
Go for Alternative Options
If you’re looking for your Boston favorites but want to do it without all the heavy caloric intake, try a few healthier and lighter options.